It all started with six weeks of intense work last June stripping the deck for painting. Every cleat, every track, every fitting and every hatch came off and slowly a 10’x20’ storage unit filled with boat bits.
As we suspected, it was definitely time to go over everything and although the boat and her gear are in surprisingly good condition, there is much to upgrade and repair after 120,000 miles of sailing. (Before we bought Morgan’s Cloud, Scott and Marybeth Teas put 30,000 on when she was Abbie Haymaker.)
We then handed Morgan’s Cloud over to the capable hands of the paint shop at Billings Marine in Stonington, Maine. She is due to emerge at the end of October with sparkling hull, decks and cabin top.
We are excited about what we are planning to do for Morgan’s Cloud this winter:
- We are installing a new hard dodger top with fabric sides. This will be our third iteration of this vital piece of equipment for high latitude sailing and we think we have finally got the concept as close to perfect as one ever does on a boat. We did look at making the whole thing from fiberglass or aluminum but producing the compound curves on the sides and front in hard materials proved to be cost prohibitive and we were not willing to compromise the boat’s looks with a dodger comprised of flat panels.
- We have continued the process—started with the removal of the teak toerails and deck some years ago—of making her ever less a yacht and ever more a plain, safe and functional sailboat by removing the last of the wood trim from the cabin top, replacing the wood hand rails with stainless steel and anodizing many deck items, including the hatches, that used to be painted. In a perfect world we would have an unpainted aluminum boat but Morgan’s Cloud was not built with that in mind, so this is the best compromise.
- Our old and original mast tube had two splices in it and was showing its age and so we are replacing it to bring it up to the standard of the new standing rigging we installed in England three years ago. We are also replacing the running rigging, using high modulus rope to replace wire to rope halyards, a change we are really looking forward to.
All of that and a million smaller repairs, replacements and upgrades. We have rented a house near Morgan’s Cloud in Maine for the winter and arrived here in early October to start the reassembly process. How long will that take? Well, I always figure that the assembly to disassembly ratio is 3:1, so if it took us six weeks to pull the boat apart, putting her back together will take….it’s going to be a long and busy winter!